Big 12 officials usually stack the media days schedule so that there’s something for everyone at all times of the two-day event. This year’s festival at the Omni Hotel in Dallas has a little something for everyone, including those who aren’t even in the league itself.
Here are five things to watch for at this week’s media days, which will feature coach and player sessions with TCU, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Iowa State and Kansas on Monday. Texas, Oklahoma, Baylor, West Virginia and Kansas State arrive on Tuesday. There also will be appearances by Big 12 and College Football Playoff officials, too, plus a briefing on the latest rules changes.
Bob Bowlsby, Big 12 commissioner, 9 a.m. Monday — All eyes will be on Bowlsby as he gives his annual state-of-the-union summation to open things up. League presidents and athletic directors are also meeting in Dallas, so he may not be ready to expound on Big 12 expansion just yet.
Nothing was decided at the spring meetings in Irving, other than expansion was tabled for the moment. The smart money is on the Big 12 doing nothing, as it relates to expansion. We’ll see.
Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State coach, 12:25 p.m. Monday — It’s not Gundy’s style to get worked up at this event. But perhaps this is the year he should make some waves for an underrated Cowboys team few are talking about.
Oklahoma State posted a 10-win season last year and reached the Sugar Bowl. It was the program’s fourth double-digit winning campaign in the last six years. How many schools would love to make that claim? The media picked OSU to finish third in its preseason poll.
Charlie Strong, Texas coach, 10 a.m. Tuesday — Day 2 begins with the Longhorns. Strong will likely face questions about his 11-14 tenure and whether he feels any pressure going into this make-or-break journey.
Texas has a young nucleus, which includes the Big 12’s preseason defensive player of the year. But linebacker Malik Jefferson along with fellow top sophomores Patrick Vahe and Connor Williams will not be in attendance. Nor will running backs D’Onta Foreman or Chris Warren III. The Longhorns instead are bringing four seniors — offensive lineman Kent Perkins, safety Dylan Haines, defensive tackle Paul Boyette Jr. and tight end Caleb Bluiett.
It’ll be solely up to Strong to generate some positive heat for his bunch.
Jim Grobe, Baylor coach, 11:15 a.m. Tuesday — Grobe inherited a complete mess in Waco, and all indications are he’s doing the best he can.
The Bears will have a strong team, even without former coach Art Briles. But many will expect a full off-the-field update from Grobe, including some details on whether the school ever plans to release more details from the Pepper Hamilton report. Chances of that happening are slim, though.
Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma quarterback, 2:30 p.m. Tuesday — No player should relish this opportunity more than the Lake Travis product, who fought the Big 12 system and won. He got back the extra year of eligibility lost in the transfer from Texas Tech, and now Mayfield will have two years to chase a Heisman Trophy and Big 12 title.
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